Schools of Isolated and distance education
The Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (known as 'SIDE') is the centre of distance and online learning within the Department of Education. Located in the Perth suburb of Leederville, SIDE provides a quality education for Kindergarten to Year 12 students who for various reasons cannot attend classes in a regular school.
Student categories include:
- full time students unable to attend a local school due to geographical isolation within WA
- WA students travelling around Australia or the world with their families on a long term basis
- WA students who are temporarily living overseas
- WA students whose local high schools do not offer the subjects they wish to study, or where the timetables do not allow them to join particular classes
- WA students suffering from long-term illnesses.
- WA students involved with elite sporting or artistic programs.
SIDE is firmly committed to helping students achieve to the best of their abilities in all aspects of school life within the context of distance education. Along with this emphasis on high achievement comes the expectation that all students will undertake further education, training or employment after Year 12. SIDE offers a number of valuable learning programs that cater for all post-school destinations, including university, TAFE, private providers and employment.
SIDE offers a full K-12 curriculum, with a particularly broad range of Year 11 and 12 courses. This provides all WA students with access to a comprehensive, high quality education.
Learning at SIDE can take place anytime and anywhere; an internet connection and computer is all that is required. This flexibility ideally suits the differing demands, commitments and circumstances of many of SIDE's students.
SIDE has become a leader in the use of technology to deliver a high standard education regardless of location. Students can join regular webinars with their teachers and fellow students, access their courses 24/7 or, at times, still use more traditional technologies such as the telephone or printed materials. SIDE has invested in its teachers to ensure they have become highly skilled at designing and delivering engaging online programs.
Studying through distance education may initially appear challenging to those joining the school. A strong pastoral care program ensures that students are well supported, with a student coordinator assigned to support the transition to SIDE and ongoing study with the school.